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Budget "crisis" faces Huntsville City Schools

The problem is a multi million dollar issue that could end up with people losing their jobs.

Posted: Aug 9, 2018 11:18 PM
Updated: Aug 10, 2018 6:50 PM

The Huntsville City Schools Board of Education meeting got incredibly tense Thursday night when the Chief Financial Officer of the district told the board the district could be short by 2-3 million dollars by the end of the 2018 fiscal year on September 30th if they don't immediately freeze expenditures.

The budget difficit is because of a clerical error.

The calculation does not line up with an independent auditors findings that show the district could be short 8 million dollars if they don't do anything.

Both the CFO and auditor show the district being short 16 million dollars by the end of fiscal year 2019 if the board of education doesn't take drastic steps.

All of that money would be sitting in the bank as the districts one month reserve, which is required by law by the state.

It covers a month of operating expenditures in case money from the state arrives late.

The President of the board, Elisa Ferrell, characterized this as a budget crisis in the meeting, because this means taking serious measures to make sure the district is financially stable.

She told WAAY 31 this could mean people losing their jobs.

"We start where there are no students. We start where we won't impact the classroom the most. I am hopeful that we will not have to do anything like that, but we have to take a hard look at every penny to make sure we are spending every penny correctly," Ferrell.

The board of education said the next steps will be to find a forensic auditor to look at the books to dive deep into the budget and find exactly where the problem started and who is to blame.

From there they'll start making the tough decisions on where to cut money from the budget.

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